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IIFYM in Pre-Contest Diets: Why don't


I've noticed that many natural bodybuilders/coaches make use of IIFYM during contest prep time, fitting the occasional "treat" into their macros or allowing for poptarts, skinny cow treats, low fat frozen yogurt, etc. post workout and during refeeds, while IFBB pros don't seem to follow this philosophy. Obviously drug protocols can make a big difference, but do you guys think that a Mr. Olympia competitor could bring the same physique to the stage without dieting on entirely "clean" foods?

One possible factor that I've thought of is that for IFBB pros, this is their career/life in many cases, whereas most natural competitors probably have a more well rounded life and IIFYM may fit better in their lifestyle. Any thoughts on the topic? I am a big fan of IIFYM for what it's worth. Layne Norton has made some excellent points on IIFYM when he's stated that if you are hitting your micronutrients, you won't have much room for "crap" in your diet regardless.


Funny I was just reading some stuff on IIFYM last week. From reading what I read online it almost, but not quite verbatim, sounds like CBL in a sense. And I don't really care for CBL. I'm just sticking to what I think works for me by how I feel, and then how I look. Interested to hear other's thoughts on IIFYM...


I did my entire prep with macros only and it worked well for me. It helped keep me sane and I was able to tweak my meals based on my schedule or how I was feeling that day. I usually hoarded carbs and saved them just so I could have a giant bowl of oatmeal for my post workout dinner. I did reach a point where I preferred sticking to the "clean" stuff simply because it meant more food.

Don't Skip's guys wash their gummy bears down with Coke?

Aside from possible issues with water retention, food allergies, etc, I don't see any reason to avoid certain foods during prep simply because they aren't "clean". I also don't understand where people came up with this idea that you should avoid salt for a full 16 week prep.


Oh cool, this again.


What? You act like this isn't a new and exciting topic that has never been discussed before...


Wasn't asking whether or not you support IIFYM, the topic was meant to be about why it seems to be more prevalently utilized in natty bb'ing circles. But oh well, I apologize for trying to start a discussion


IIFYM = the best decision ever made in my life. No more nutrient timing, no more obssesing with 6 meals per day living out fo tupperware. All I care is macros at the end of the day.

It's also hard to eat shit all day and hit your macros but it allows occasional treat or two.

Pre contest you ask? Here's my friend Jure Rus who got natural pro card last year.

He was eating 2 sometimes 3 meals per day. No nutrient timing. No windows of opportunity. No tupperware. Just macros at the end of the day. His intake at the time was 200 P 200 C 40 F per day.


I think that IIFIYM is practical in that it gives you a bit of 'wiggle room' to add in foods that you might be especially found of, even if they go against the old dogma of what's "clean" or what's not. The other variables are going to be a matter of personal preference.

-Multiple meals vs a few? I get hungry very easily, and definitely notice a drop in blood sugar when I've gone too long without food. My decision is easy. (plus I actually believe all that old science about nitrogen balance)

-Nutrient timing? I've personally noticed better training sessions when I target certain nutrients around my workouts. I don't need an armchair/youtube 'expert' telling me it doesn't make a difference, because I have no vested interest any further than my own performance. (and yes, you've got guys like Kalman, Berardi, and many other pretty brainy-folks believing it, so you can forgive me if a 16 year old wanna be bodybuilder preaches otherwise -lol)

-'Clean' foods are usually more filling, as Buckeye Girl pointed out. I remember someone asking me during one of my earlier contest preps why I ate so much oatmeal during the day. Simple answer, it's filling, and its #s are fairly low, allowing you to eat more!

-As far as 'crap' goes, I think some people just overgeneralize. For example, PopTarts are a big thing for a lot of competitors. However, most people view them as garbage in terms of nutritional value. Let's look at the new Peanut Butter PopTart nutrition data: 200 cals, 34 carbs, 3 protein, and 6 fat (2 saturated). Now, while IMO this is a pretty decent carb source, with relatively low protein and fat, you have to further take into account the pure psychological benefit of eating something that's not only tasty, but provides a bit of normalcy, or even 'cheating' to what may possibly be a very ho-hum not fun daily eating regimen.



Very good points all around. I guess I didn't really make my intended topic clear in the OP...my main question was why do IFBB pros, top NPC competitors, etc. seem to make use of IIFYM or "flexible dieting?"


Honestly I think some do. Yates talks about how he would eat chocolate bars post workout even if dieting for a show. He said the other guys would freakout but he fit it in his cals.


Interesting, I hadn't read that!


Honestly I would just assume it's because IFBB pros usually have more sponsors, more in the limelight. And feel they just put the generic "6 meals a day, chicken/rice/broccoli" for diet. Just like every IFBB pro does "Chest on Monday, Back on Tuesday, etc"

Seems like natural BB'ers seem to really be more into exposure through youtube Q & A stuff, and appeal to a 'different' audience I guess. I would figure IFBB pros actually eat a bit dirtier, just because they have a bit of leeway with certain anabolics, but as their lifestyle is already kind of seen as 'unhealthy', I don't think they talk about it a lot.


The sentence about macros at the end of the day is what the thread's about,
but what does IIFYM have to do with nutrient timing or tupperware or number of meals per day ?


Where does your information about what IFBB pros are eating come from? The muscle rags?

I bet you believe those are their actual workouts in those things, too, huh? Do you think they're really getting that big on and not 3-6g of androgen+GH+insulin+whatever else they can get their hands on, too?

I recently had a up-and-coming young IFBB pro bodybuilder tell me that all of these guys don't eat nearly as clean as a lot of people like to think.

Meadows talks a good bit about how he has weekly trips to Five Guys while he's prepping. Ronnie used to load up on grits and KC Masterpiece for the entirety of his prep during his Olympia dynasty run. Ken Hill has top NPC guys loading up 6,000+ calories of snack packs, fun dip, and honey grahams weekly during preps and has open discussion on his board about guys having "meals" of a Coke, 2 scoops of whey protein, and some almonds for a mid-morning (not pwo) meal.

So if your question is why IFBB pros all eat clean while natty's get away with dirtier foods on occasion when prepping, my question to you would be who is more open about what they're doing? A natural competitor who isn't make a cent off of bodybuilding, or a pro who has to maintain an image in order to sell pictures, videos, and --most importantly-- supplements?


fucking christ...shred city


Agree grind,that's the definition of dry.


I used to stress A LOT if I didn't had my PWM shake immediatly after workout and then 45 minutes later another one. My social life was suffering a lot due to "bodybuilding" lifestyle.

I think that's important. Reminds me of Dave Pulcinella's "6 foods that work" video.

Then along came 3DMJ team (Eric Helms, Alberto Nunez, Jeff Alberts) and other natural pro's. Saved me lots of nerves.


imo its just way harder to go iifym during the day vs being prepared with all your meals ready

if you are hungry as fuck and decide to fit idk.. a pizza in there.. some might fall off and overeat

can it work? I think so yeah

is it optimal?

I think not

No chikkan no gains for pros while offseason. Tilapia white rice pineapples icecream thats it thats all


The truth is in the bible. Amen.